Sunday 12 June 2016

Starting a New Bullet Journal with Bureau Direct*

Starting a new bullet journal Sarah's Chapter

You might remember that back in February I posted about starting a bullet journal. At the time I had only been bullet journalling for a few weeks and thought that it might be helpful to share my experience with others, I had no idea that it was going to be so well-received. My 'Starting a Bullet Journal' post has been my most popular post of all time; it's had over 20,000 unique pageviews and has been pinned over 67,000 times on Pinterest. For a small/medium sized blog like mine, those are crazy huge numbers!

Well, four months later and that first bullet journal has been completely filled, it's totally changed how I organise my time and has made me infinitely more productive. The bullet journal is the most helpful and innovative organisational tool I've ever come across and I'm now definitely a committed bullet journaller. With that in mind it was time to start a new one and the lovely Isaac over at independent stationery company Bureau Direct offered to send me a bundle of bullet journal essentials so I could up my bujo game and share them with you guys. In this post, I'll be reviewing the items in the bundle and showing you how I've been using my new bullet journal.

Ever since starting my first bullet journal I'd been dying to try out the Leuchtturm 1917 which is the notebook of preference for so many bullet journallers, so I was delighted that this was included in the bundle that I received. The Leuchtturm 1917 comes in so many gorgeous colours but I went for the lime green as I wanted something bright and cheerful. This is the A5 dotted version* of the notebook which I find to be the best for everyday bullet journalling, as it fits perfectly in your bag and the dotted pages are perfect for both writing and drawing. I've found that since switching from lined to dotted pages I've been much more creative with my journalling as it makes drawing neat boxes, banners and grids really simple.

In my first journal I'd pretty much just used ballpoint and gel rollerball pens and after watching Boho Berry's videos I was eager to expand my pen collection so the Kaweco fountain pen and Mark's HiBi ballpoint that were included in the bundle were perfect. The Kaweco Classic Sport fountain pen* is a pocket-sized pen with a really unusual design, mine is in a forest green with gold detailing and it really is beautiful. I went for black ink cartridges as I mostly write and draw in black because it's practical and I find that way the pages don't look too busy or messy. This fountain pen writes so smoothly, the line is the perfect thickness and I find that it doesn't bleed through the Leuchtturm's pages. The Mark's HiBi ballpoint* is very slim, making it so light and easy to hold and it writes with a very fine line that is perfect for taking quick notes and drawing grids. Bureau Direct also included a Papelote notebook strap* which is perfect for carrying the notebook and multiple pens round on the go, I love this little extra and use it constantly.

I've been using this new bullet journal and all the little essentials for a few weeks now so I thought I'd dive right in and show you how I've been filling it out so far and the spreads that I decided to migrate from my old bullet journal.

The Leuchtturm 1917 is perfect for bullet journalling as it already has a built-in Index and numbered pages, making it so much easier to keep track of collections. I find this really helpful but the small section for page numbers in the Index does mean that if a collection (such as June dailies) is dotted over different pages you might need to make several entries for that collection.

This '2016 goals' spread is one that I migrated over from my first bullet journal as I want to continue to track these goals throughout the year. I'm hoping that by the end of the year I'll be able to see some progress on each of these goals and it'll give me an idea of how to move forward with them next year. I also had a play around with the MT pastel washi tapes*; I love using them for headers, dividers and borders, they brighten up the page whilst keeping it fairly minimal.

This spread shows two collections that I migrated over from my previous bullet journal: my blog statistics tracker and my TBR page. The idea of the TBR (to be read) page is that I write down unread books that I want to get to then colour them in once I've finished. It's a nice way of having a visual representation of what I'm reading and how well I'm doing at tackling my TBR. I used the Mark's HiBi ballpoint to draw both the stats grid and the bookcase as it's ultra-fine line is great for precision.

Again, I've carried over this 2016 reading statistics spread from my previous bullet journal as I want to continue to track these throughout the year. I want to do a post about my reading statistics at the end of the year, like I did for 2015, and tracking everything each time I finish a book will save me so much time overall, it's also super motivating. I used the Mark's HiBi ballpoint to draw the grid lines and the Kaweco fountain pen for all the writing. I absolutely love writing with this pen, it's just so smooth and is great for drawing titles and doing any calligraphy.

Future Log Sarah's Chapter

The future log is one of the key sections of the original bullet journal set up that was created by Ryder Carroll (watch this video for a great explanation of how the bullet journal system works). I use it to store events and tasks that are scheduled months in advance and I refer back to it when creating my monthly spreads.

This is my monthly spread for June. Over the last few months I've played around with different monthly spreads as some months I found I wasn't really using it, but then other formats didn't quite work for me. For now I've settled on the original monthly spread suggested by Ryder Carroll. Although it looks empty in this photograph (I'd only just set it up) I actually use the monthly task list quite a lot to note down things I need to get done in the near future. This spread is helpful when creating my weekly and daily logs.

Starting a new bullet journal Sarah's Chapter

This spread contains my monthly 'things I'm into' and my June habit tracker. The 'things I'm into' collection is kind of a mix of a gratitude log and a 'monthly memories' and it's basically where, throughout the month, I doodle the things that I've been enjoying that particular month, whether it's an item, a memory or something random. It helps me when putting together my monthly favourites posts and it's also just nice to look back on and see what I was enjoying in any particular month.

The habit tracker is something many people use in their bullet journals and basically works as a motivational tool to improve daily habits such as keeping up with skincare, blogging and getting an early night. This particular habit tracker layout is inspired by Boho Berry who actually has a habit tracker printable that is very similar. I use Papermate InkJoy pens that I picked up at The Range to fill in the tracker and it's one of the only colourful pages in my bullet journal.

Another great thing about the Leuchtturm 1917 is that it contains two built-in ribbons which means you can mark two important pages in your bullet journal. I keep one ribbon on the above spread, as I refer to it every day, and one on my current page. It's little details like that that make the Leuchtturm stand out from other notebooks.

These spreads are some examples of weekly and daily logs. The weekly log is not included in Ryder Carroll's original system but I think I got the idea from Tiny Ray of Sunshine. I use the weekly log mostly as a task list of things that need to get done that week but not necessarily on any specific day, I will then refer to this when creating my daily logs. The daily logs are standard bullet journal fare and at the moment I mainly use them as a task list.

I like to be creative with my bullet journal and I really enjoy experimenting with banners and practicing doodles (I often use Pinterest as an inspiration for these) but that doesn't mean that you have to. The best thing about the bullet journal is that it can be whatever you want it to be, it doesn't have to be 'Pinterest-y' or pretty or embellished. The most important thing is that it functions for you as an organisational system. If you want to also use it as a creative outlet, that's fine, but you certainly don't have to. Boho Berry has made an excellent video on this topic if you want to check it out.

I hope you've found this little update on my bullet journal helpful and hopefully it's given you some ideas and recommendations for new bullet journal essential items. I just want to say thank you so much to Bureau Direct for sending me this little bundle and I'm genuinely loving every single item. If you're looking for a new notebook or just want to drool over some beautiful stationery, head over to their website.

Do you keep a bullet journal? Let me know!

* Disclaimer: the products marked with an asterix were sent to me for free by Bureau Direct in exchange for an honest review. However all opinions are entirely my own and I would never review something that I didn't honestly love!

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